Monday, April 30, 2007

Nina in drag..

I made this necklace over the weekend; a gift for a friend. As you can see it was heavily influenced by Nina - and yet no-one taking a close look would confuse it with a genuine Nina - hence the title. My soldering is coming along and I do like the rhiolite stone beads and carved rose. The back of the square charm has a piece of vintage music and the word dream.
It seems that most of what I am working on at the moment are gifts and long term projects so I have decided not to feel guilty about posting pictures to my blog before items arrive.
This amazing ATC and charm are gifts from Dawn - a talented artist I am blessed to have as a friend. I do wish you could see all the layers and detail behind that microscope slide -beautiful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is a public holiday here in Australia. Despite the dawn services, marches, reminders on television and in other media I am constantly amazed at the number of people who do not understand why we have this day. At the same time the number of people attending ANZAC parades, marches, ceremonies and services is increasing markedly every year.

During World War 1 Australian soldiers landed, slightly off course, at the foot of almost perpendicular cliffs, on the beaches of Galipolli, Turkey. The tides made reaching shore difficult, the chances of escape were negligible and yet brave men ran up those cliff faces (knowing they were likely to die) and fought a brave fight.

I believe in peace, I would like a world without war and yet this is the world I live in, I look to my heavenly home for all encompassing peace. I am not convinced that we should have been involved all the wars we have. And yet, there is a reality that I live a safe and happy life here in Australia because brave men (and women) have served their country; have knowingly faced death and have effectively died for my freedom and that of my own family. Each of those numbers that we read in our history books; 30, 000 died at x - 27 died at y; they all had a mother and a father. They had wives and children, sisters and bothers. They had a local deli and several teachers.

Yes, I did take the chance for a sleep in today - and I did catch up with friends and family. I also gave time to a thought for those Australians who have fought and died for Australia for almost 100 years, and a prayer for future peace. And yes, I baked the ANZAC cookies pictured - crunchy on the left and chewy in the right - and as I did I thought of brave wives and mothers baking and filling tins to be sent to 'our boys' on the front.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Still looking? Then brace yourselves I am going to give you the ‘tourist tour’ of my creative zone.
Last holidays I tidied, filed and sorted – my desk was completely clear AND I could not create a thing! I’ve kept the categories and let the desk run wild, and my mojo has returned with a vengeance. So fasten your seatbelts and let the tour begin.
The desk tonight features the left overs from an ATC frenzy on the weekend and the beginning of my next assem’ – oh you noticed organ donor Nancy? Poor love she came in with a leg that could not be saved and a cracked chest, she’s going to contribute to at least three pieces of art that are in the pipeline. I went looking for more donors while op-shopping with a couple of girlfriends last week andlearnt a valuable lesson, announcing you are looking for dolls to cut up leads to 10 year old girls giving you horrified looks and hiding the dollies.
Hanging off the door are my ribbons – colour coded too (Unfortunately there’s a select group of one that understands the system for that – there are as many exceptions to the colour rule as grammar exceptions in the English language). Hamish loves to sleep on the floor with the ribbons dangling over him, they don’t seem to mind. Maggie minded tonight, she got up to go for a drink and Hamish had nicely settled into her pre-warmed spot.
To my left we have the Mounted Stamp trolley – my favourite categories “backgrounds” and “words” always seem to have the drawers open. Note the neatly filed ink pads and matching shaving brushes for stippling - YUM – just looking at the nine of them together in the box makes me smile.
To my right is the PUP trolley. Oh sorry, PUP = Partially Used Paper that’s sheets that have been cut into, all neatly sorted by colour. Hanging off one side is a bag of raffia and off the other a bag of mica. This tour was conducted entirely from my chair in front of the main desk (there are two and a half in the room - desks silly, half a chair could led to someone getting hurt!). Future tours may be conducted at random intervals.

Thinking Blogger Awards

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post other than I THINK it is a while since you saw a picture of my lovely Phantom.

My lovely friend Dotee nominated me for one of these awards and as part of the gift of being given this award I need to nominate 5 blogs that make me think, and inspire me each day. I am supposed to put a little "Thinking Blogger Badge" up aabove this post, but as yet blogger and I are not seeing eye-to-eye on that.

I am procrastinating with this post because I am finding it hard to choose only five and to be true to myself. But here goes - I will not nominate Dotee - she knows I read her blog every day and and love her heaps. I nominate: Jessica, Kelsey, Kelly, Sandy and Michael.
I don't remember how I came to Jessica's blogs (Something Nice to Talk About and Raw Food with Jessica), but I know that her heart shines through in every post and that she lives what she believes.

Kelsey is one of the most generous people I know - her blog posts are full of ideas and if she has not shared the 'how' in her post she will answer questions, patiently! I often leave her blog and go try a technique - sometimes only on a scrap of paper or in my journal.

Kelly wasn't a well known mixed media artist when I first started visiting her blog; her art has grown and progressed over the last 12 months or so. I love her art, I own an original and some prints - but I visit because Kelly reminds me about what is important in life. Her posts are full of friends, fun, struggles and an adorable dog Bella - oh yes a smiling hubby too.

Sandy was one of my first blog friends - she reads me, through my posts, and often sends me e-mails which get straight to my heart, her comments on the other hand usually leave me giggling. I love to visit and see her amazing art, and listen to her tales, I learn so much from her. I save her posts until I have a cup-of-tea and time to enjoy them.

I hesitated over nominating Michael (after all 'deMeng' is famous, or infamous - and my pride did not want to look like a groupie). But Michael posted last week about art criticism -and the post hit a chord, it was a topic I have been thinking about for a while: How to facilitate some healthy critiques of my work using an on-line media, as I don't have like-minded people around me. Actually his post was about art criticism in general, but the themes and the article he linked to have had me thinking all week - so if the awards are for blogs that make me think this one is currently top of the pile.

Of course there are a lot more people I could have nominated, more even than in my links (Which will be reviewed very soon), but this award came with the responsibility of choosing five - and I have.

Friday, April 20, 2007


This week has flown by, and yet it seems to have lasted forever.

I completed two days marking and school work; I had a whole set of assignments which took 20minutes each to mark and resorted to bribery. No not the students, me - 'Do two and you can wash the dishes', 'Do two and you can hang out the washing', 'Oh OK, after the next two you can walk the dog', pathetic I know. However I have the concentration span of a gnat and it got the job done. I spent a full day in bed (snoozing), did a detox fast (which sounds all healthy and righteous until I tell you I broke it with baked beans and cheese on toast!). Oh yes, and I completed some commissions. Do you notice how I say that airily as if it is the most common thing in the world. Oh OK (gosh you are being pedantic today. That's right it is me, I have not published this yet; I really want to be dramatic - but honesty is winning out), I am calling them my commissions, but one was a necklace for my Mum to give as a gift and the other a bracelet requested by a friend.

The ATC's above are the start of those I will take to umm Stamp Camp to swap - oops just realised there is no stamping on them, giggles... perhaps they will come to you instead.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A serendipitous petrol cap ...

I started this piece some time ago (not long after my class with Michael deMeng) but could not find what I wanted for the bottom section. As I rode in my Dad's truck on Monday I spotted an old style petrol cap at my feet - Dad had found it on the side of the road. He has quite a collection of these; 'just in case I lose one'; fortunately this one was given up willing. As to the message of this piece - make of it what you will - if we meet one day I will tell you a story. A story of birthing a cow ... and the afterbirth days later. I will tell how it, and other events, led to my vegetarianism, for now the shrine tells its own tale.

Friday, April 13, 2007

One of these things is not like the others ...

A final set of charms, and my only remaining swap commitment. I am pleased with the way these nests transferred to the game pieces.

My body is a mass of aching muscles, and I like it, a sign of the hard days work completed yesterday, and the promise of spring to come. What was I doing? Gardening. A couple more days work should finish the job, and I am so enjoying being outdoors and getting dirty.

For now Miss Maggie and I are off for a walk. Enjoy your weekends.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This and That

I am in a few charm swaps at the moment -as well as preparing to swap charms at a forthcoming camp. When I saw all the zip charms together I immediately wanted to make them into a choker - so that may follow.
As to the Watsonia - I decided to keep it as natural as possible for these. I love the colour and texture of the wood - and it is hard, which contrasts with the more fragile roots. I am sure that with wear the roots will drop off, for now I like them (and any recipients who don't can snip them off easily).
Some of yesterdays 'treasure' - which Miss Maggie says smell good. I have one more set of charms and some OOAK charms to complete over the next day or two - then back to some one-off art experiments. I see an art doll, perhaps two - some candlesticks and the beginnings of a wall hanging here. What do you see?
I did make time to create some more card sets - and love that I have a stash to dig into when there is no time for an original.
This picture is great! It tells of my Dad's humour, he takes delight in attaching skulls to things and odd placement of items. The old trailer is only used occasionally for carting hay and is not licensed to leave the farm, it is quirky art for my Dad's own enjoyment (not that he would consider it art)!
It has been a good few days, and I am at peace - even the cleaning and school work that is keeping me occupied today is satisfying.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Day At Home

I don't often get to spend a 'non-event' day with my family. Today I joined Dad and Mum for a ride in the truck to move some hay. This area of the Western Australia is normally known for being wet and, well, wet, this time of the year. Like much of Australia we are desperate for soaking rains here; and yet this dead tree against a cloudy sky was also a thing of beauty. Those clouds brought some heavy drizzle and here, in town, some rain.

My Dad collects junk (I mean important things we might need some day),he always has. Recently Dad has made some terrific welded assemblages which I will take photo's of soon. I crouched in the drizzle taking pictures to use in my art work, I even lay in the paddock - between cow droppings to take a photo looking up through the branches of one tree. I haven't played with contrast yet - just left them as they are or hit sepia in the basic camera software - but I know I can use some of these.
Of course I didn't just take photo's, I opened gates, helped feed cattle and in the front of the truck, just out of your sight, is a box. The box, my contribution to reducing the amount of stuff in the block shed.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Friends look away ... you may receive one of these, one day, but I could not resist show and tell. I almost got to the point of buying a card last week. There were none in the stash and no time to create. Yesterday I spent a 4 blissful hours playing with paper - lovely silk, handmade, textured and printed papers;the result this card and tag series. It was a serene pause in the whirlwind of my mind - all was quiet and the focus was on the paper - no deep thoughts, no other plans, no wishing for other resources... just cutting and arranging beautiful paper.
Back to reality and I have my desk to tidy, at least a little, before I can create anything else on it. I would like to spend another afternoon doing a second series in another colour way, perhaps one which is a little more unisex.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mojo Madness

I have my mojo a the moment - and possibly an overdose of mojo - there are a thousand ideas all running around my head at once. Jewellery - my new passion - is at top of the pile. However there is a fabric stash, measured in cubic meters, that is calling me; I have a huge bag of beautiful wool ready to felt - no, I don't know how - but I want to; there are pieces of paper in drifts across my desk and beyond just calling to be collaged; the papers are weighted by heavy treasures (the ones destined for assemblage work) and I would like to create in the garden too. Of course there is a half finished patchwork quilt in the lounge and a mosaic that only needs the grout in the shed - then there is the UFO box.

Am I complaining? No! It is bliss - a surfeit of ideas can never be a problem. Have you seen the work of Richard Salley? His jewellery, assemblage and mixed media - all calling out to me. There are some things I'd like to try ...

For now, this bracelet is going to a new friend whose words warm my day. I dyed the buttons (they were white and clear) just for this piece - however, I have a lot of lovely 'spares'. I dye my buttons by boiling them in an old pot with a sprinkle of Dylon powder and salt. The different buttons take up the dye to varying degrees giving a whole range of shades within the colour.

Have a peace filled Sunday, as we celebrate the resurrection.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Beautiful Weeds, Sneezes and Gifts

Update: Thanks so much to Ro who has reminded me these plants are Watsonia, apparently they grow in Victoria too. I am not sure about copyright so if you are interested here are a couple of links to the flowers:

Thank you so much for all the positive comments and encouragement on my last post. At times I get a little insecure about the fact I dabble in so many 'arts'. So often when I am doubting myself you fill me with courage anew.
As we walked tonight I spotted a few of these wood like shapes on the ground. Immediately I thought of charms and nests and other jewellery. What are they? The base of a bulb - the bulb of a declared weed. If I can find a photo I will add it later ( my memory has let me down so I can not search for it by name ). These bulbs grow into beautiful long stems full of pink, apricot or white flowers. However they multiply and take over the natural bushland very rapidly, so I make a habit of pulling them out of the ground as we walk. I discovered that if I found bulbs that were just beginning to take root then there were 6 or 7 of these discs, just beginning to separate at the base. Miss Maggie was not impressed that I was the one stopping to dig in the dirt - I am sure her sighs were heard in the next state! I, however, came home with pockets full of treasures. They drill beautifully!
Mr Charles has a cold -his nose is running like a garden hose and he is either resting on my PJ shelf or cuddled on my knee, occasionally giving me a shower as he sneezes. I used to run straight to the vet, sure he was dieing of some kitty disease. Now I know he will get a cold at change of season and possibly one in winter; so I simply put something old and soft under his nose and cook him special treats. I have tried to explain that playing in the rain is not good for his health - but my water baby is particularly dense on this point. He will come in very cold and dripping water, throw himself in front of the heater and clean all over - then dive outside to start the cycle again.
This wonderful mini book is a Mystery Muse gift from Genevieve, who tricked me well - by putting Sally's as the return address. It is so beautiful. Thanks Gen.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A bit presumptuous?

I couldn't wait to play with my new goodies and made this piece last night - a RAK which will wing its way to a friend soon. The presumption? Well, I have called this piece Earthly Secrets ... is it a bit, ummm...'over-the-top' for a beginning artist to name her work? It seemed to want this name as I was choosing the jasper and winding the silver nickel.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Just a Little Shopping

Look at this loot! The whole bowl of zip pulls was $1.50 and the jar with the nails, hooks and 'thingies' was also $1.50. All those lovely brass numbers were 50c each! I was so excited by this shopping spree ( a hunt for one item - not found - to finish an assemblage ) that I now have another hundred ideas in my head.

My wonderful beads came in the post today. I really like the contrast between the bright colours and the organic shapes.
What bliss, new goodies ... and the knowledge that school holidays are just around the corner.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I am hooked ...

These are the felt balls that Lisa (Oceandreamer) gave me last week. I combined them with silver findings, beads and silver nickel Nina knots. The purple ones are mine, the pink and green are for sale on my etsy, and the other three pairs will wing their way to new homes very, very soon.

Have a peace filled, fun and creative week!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lazy Days

on etsy
I confess - I have been a complete sloth this weekend, and loved every moment of it. I skipped most of the Saturday cleaning, the ironing and the school work. Instead I chatted (and ate) with friends, read a couple of novels and twisted wire; a new addiction. I finished this necklace last night and discovered the old wood shed provides a great photo backdrop! I started some felt ball earrings today as well.